Dept of Commerce urges for a paradigm shift in Indo-US trade and investment relations 
KNN, February 27, 2019

Urging for a paradigm shift in Indo-US trade and investment relations, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Santosh Kumar Sarangi said that availability of labour in India and capital and technology in the US are the areas of potential collaboration between the two countries.

He said this during a panel discussion organized by Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International, a leading non-profit organization, on “Advancing United States and India Relations- Mission USD 500 Billion Bilateral Trade” at India International Centre, here.

Deputy Executive Director, CUTS International, Udai S Mehta in his introductory remarks, lauded the efforts of Indian American community represented in shaping bilateral relations. He mentioned that the momentum to deepen trade and economic partnership is building however a lot of contentious issues remain to be resolved.

A renowned Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist and member of International Advisory Board of CUTS Washington DC Center, Frank Islam articulated a historical overview of India-US relations- the past, a snapshot of the present, and his top-line assessment for the future.

He defined the era between 1990 until 2016 as “Strengthening Relationship” between the two countries on account of post-cold war period which saw The U.S. India Civil Nuclear Agreement, liberalization of Indian economy and the growing Indian American community.

He categorized the period 2017-2021 as “Erratic Relationship” between the two countries, citing protectionist policy of US as well as market entry challenges in India.

At the same time, he highlighted the ever-growing trade in goods between the two countries which reached USD 73 billion in 2017 compared to USD 5 billion in 1991. This gives us hope that the target of USD 500 billion bilateral trade is achievable.

Secretary General, CUTS International, Pradeep Mehta moderated a panel discussion and emphasized the importance of India – US relations in the current geo-politics.

The meeting ended with concluding remarks from, Executive Director, CUTS International, Bipul Chatterjee who was optimistic about the bilateral trade goal provided trade irritants are addressed through innovative means and stressed on creating a narrative for India USA FTA.

The event was well received with active participation of approximately 80 participants consisting high level government officials, reputed think tanks, academia and eminent personalities from corporate and civil society.

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